Go Ahead and Spoon Into a Jar of Overnight Oats — Just Follow This Expert's Weight-Loss Tips
If you're trying to lose weight, don't fear oatmeal! POPSUGAR asked registered dietitian Anna Rios, RDN, to explain why overnight oats are an excellent breakfast choice if you're trying to lose body fat. Offering a healthy balance of carbs, protein, and healthy fats, overnight oats are also so versatile because there are literally thousands of flavor combinations to satisfy your tastebuds and nutrition needs. Keep reading to learn how to optimize your little jar to help you reach your weight-loss goals.
Overnight Oats Have Fiber
Like all whole grains, rolled oats are a great source of soluble fiber, which fills your stomach and keeps you feeling satiated for a long period of time. Rios added that fiber also helps stabilize blood glucose throughout the day to avoid feeling intense hunger pains.
Although overnight oats are usually made with rolled oats (which offer four grams of fiber per serving), you can also make them with slightly less-processed, higher-fiber steel-cut oats (five grams per serving) — you just need to soak them longer.
Overnight Oats Have Carbs
With the popularity of low-carb diets, we've been taught to fear carbs, but this macronutrient is what our bodies need for energy. Remember that "carbs are the number one energy source our body uses. Approximately half of our calories should be coming from carbs," registered dietitian Carlie Saint-Laurent Beaucejour, MS, LDN, known as @mindfuleatingdietitian on Instagram told POPSUGAR in a previous interview. Oats are an excellent source of complex carbs (23 to 27 grams per serving), which means they offer slow-burning energy to our brain and body.
To increase the complex carbs in your overnight oats, add mashed beans (try this black bean brownie batter overnight oats recipe, mash in banana (which adds natural sweetness), or add pureed sweet potato or pumpkin.
Overnight Oats Have Protein
One serving of oats (whether you choose these sprouted rolled oats or Trader Joe's rolled oats) offers six grams of protein. Protein helps with weight loss by making you feel more satiated, and it also takes longer to digest, which helps regulate your appetite.
When soaking your oats overnight, you can increase the protein by swapping low-protein almond milk for higher-protein unsweetened soy milk, Silk Protein milk, or Ripple. Rios also said she's a fan of adding nut butters like peanut, almond, or cashew, and seeds like pumpkin, sunflower, flax, chia, and hemp. You may also like adding in a spoonful of plant-based protein powder — try these mint chocolate chip overnight oats.
Weight-Loss Tips For Overnight Oats
A serving size of rolled oats is usually half a cup (it's one-third for sprouted rolled oats), so grab a measuring cup when you're prepping your jar the night before, instead of eyeballing the amount. Choose unsweetened milk to lower the calories and sugar, and sweeten your oats naturally with fresh or frozen fruit instead of brown sugar or maple syrup to save on calories and to add fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants.
You can also add exciting flavor to your oats by mixing in things like vanilla or almond extract, cinnamon, nutmeg, fruit-only jam, or dried fruit. Or instead of using plain milk, mix your oats with a green smoothie instead. And if you want extra fiber and to lower the calorie density of your jar, add in shredded carrot, zucchini, or riced cauliflower.
Being prepared with your healthy breakfast can help prevent you from reaching for higher-calorie options (hello scone sitting on the counter at the coffee shop), so make this quick breakfast even faster by prepping a week's worth at one time. Here are some recipes:
To recap, overnight oats can absolutely help you lose weight. Just be mindful of your portion size, sweeten yours naturally with fruit, and measure out high-calorie toppings like nuts, seeds, granola, and dried fruit.